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Creating An Omnichannel Strategy For Your Business

creating-an-omnichannel-strategy-for-your-business
Creating An Omnichannel Strategy For Your Business

Omnichannel is a beneficial part of any eCommerce business, as it broadens purchasing potential. Having a strategy is crucial, as each different touchpoint of your eCommerce business needs to work together seamlessly and holistically in order to provide customers with the standard they deserve. Creating such a strategy is not impossible, it just takes some thought.

What Is Omnichannel?

Omnichannel merchandising, marketing and eCommerce in general means a consistent retail experience across various platforms. Some of these platforms are:

Giving shoppers the possibility to connect to your business across different platforms means you broaden the potential of sales. You also meet your customers’ needs; allowing them to shop in the way that best suits them. They may start their journey through one channel, and finish it via another. An omnichannel strategy means that whatever they choose; you have them covered.

Because of this 73% of shoppers identify themselves as “omnichannel shoppers” as they shop over multiple channels. Similarly, with more marketing channels over the different areas, profits are seen to increase

Omnichannel In Use

So, how does omnichannel function? Well, for example. A customer finds your store via social media. They browse some products on your grid, then they click the link in your bio to enter your web store via a mobile advice. They have some questions about delivery, in which case they engage with your chatbot. The chatbot provides answers to questions, and they decide to purchase.

Because there is an offer for a 10% discount if they download the mobile app, they do this. Once they have downloaded the mobile app, they checkout here.

This is a likely scenario for a young Gen Z or millennial shopper.

In this case they have used four channels:

  • Social media
  • Mobile device store
  • Chatbot
  • Mobile app

Another example:

Someone finds your store via search results from google. They enter your store on their browser, but they have some questions. They make a phone call to your business to see whether you have their requested product. You confirm that you do, and in fact it’s in stock in a local brick and mortar store. The customer then comes to the physical store to pick up the product and take it home the same day.

This is a likely scenario for an older shopper, with a preference for brick and mortar stores.

In this case they have used three channels:

  • Store via browser
  • Phone lines
  • Brick and mortar store

In both of these cases, if there hadn’t been omnichannel capacity, there is a high chance that the user would have bounced. They simply would not have completed their purchase, as they wouldn’t have had all of their needs accounted for.

Let’s take a look at some practical steps to create an omnichannel strategy. Knowing that you need one is one thing, but creating one that is right for you can be challenging. Here are some factors to consider:

Define Your Audience

As we have already seen, your omnichannel strategy depends on your target market. Depending on who your audience is will affect which omnichannel areas you want to invest in. For younger audiences, social media platforms, mobile apps and chatbots are very useful. For mature audiences, phone lines and brick and mortar stores would be better suited.

Look at what your market is using now. See what competitors are offering. The spaces that your shoppers are engaging with regularly or daily anyway are places that you want to be present. Another great way of understanding your audience is through creating an ideal buyer persona, and working with that in mind.

Factors to consider:

  • What their buying journey is
  • How they want to pay
  • Where they enter your store
  • What device they use

Once you have this finalized, you can use this to perfect your offering.

Audience Segments

Once you know your target audience, they can be categorized into segments that can be more easily reached. Creating audience segments means that you can offer personalization at scale through marketing, product journey and sales. There are certain solution that can offer multichannel marketing automation, which will be improved based on audience segments.

Prioritize Most Relevant Areas

Depending on your target market and audience segmentation, naturally some omnichannel areas should be prioritized. If your audience is Gen Z, then social media and mobile app should be invested in most heavily.

Putting emphasis on the phone channel of your business would be wasted, as Gen Z use their mobile device for chat messaging and web browsing more than they do for phone calls. This can be understood via mapping your customer journey. 

Choose what your customers are looking for, and put most of your effort into those areas. This could differ depending on age, location, product sold, and maybe even over time. Just make sure you stay on top of the changing trends and make sure your customers’ needs are always getting met.

Ensure Optimized Integration

A hugely important element of omnichannel is that there is a holistic approach to them all. The integration between all omnichannel elements needs to be seamless. There should be consistency and equality in quality over all channels. The branding, colors and features should all be the same. Whatever channel someone uses to interact with you, they should receive the exact same quality experience.

The displays in the physical store should mirror those on the app and in the web store. The quality of service through chabots should be as efficient as in store sales assistants and phone lines. Creating a unified frontier is very important in omnichannel. If one channel is lacking, this could mean you lose out on sales over all channels.

Tips For Successful Omnichannel

  • Frequently A/B test to make sure your strategy is working
  • Understand and analyze all customer data available
  • Create engaging and consistent content across all channels
  • Focus on the customer journey
  • Invest into your tech stage
  • Optimize your mobile store and app

Conclusion

As you can see, creating an omnichannel experience is necessary. Nowadays, it’s what shoppers expect and if there isn’t this option it’s certain that your business will lose sales. However, with the right guidance and direction it’s not impossible to create a strategy that will work for you. It does take some investment, but this will be worth your while.

Special thanks to our friends at FastSimon for their insights on this topic.
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